We arrive late morning in Macau, having taken the Jet ferry from Hong Kong. On our last visit we stayed for one elaborate night at the Venetian hotel which was ostentatious and echoed the format of its partner in Las Vegas, Viennese style canals and all. So this time we tried a new hotel, the JW Marriott.
All of the major hotels in Macau have a free shuttle service from the ferry port and train station, which is fantastic as they are always there and saves money on taxis. The journey takes roughly 30 minutes to arrive at the entrance of our hotel, where we are greeted by a drop style modern glass chandelier. The entrance may not be as ‘wow’ as that of the Venetian but the service definitely is. We are welcomed by the hotel staff and once they ascertain Mr.C is an Elite Marriott member, they usher us up to a private floor to check in. We are early but this seems to make little difference, we are upgraded to an executive suite and given a card to enjoy the facilities while our room is fully prepared.
The style of the hotel reminds me of the Atlantis in Dubai. It has a a lazy river winding its way round the exterior of the complex, a beach with a wave pool attached, several regular pools, water slides and a wide selection of lounge chairs from gazebos to beds. It’s a warm day and the sun is fighting with the clouds, we are in envy of the people swimming and curse ourselves for not bringing our swimwear down. With the desire to fully enjoy the hotel we head upstairs to collect our key. We are notified that is afternoon tea time, so we enjoy this in the executive lounge. I’ve been to many hotels but the extravagance of designer crockery is not something I have previously noticed, however here you can’t fail to see the Vera Wang label on the under side of everything. Mr.C scolds me for taking pictures of it but I’m not shy, I love the dinner service! I try to work out if we have enough time for me to stage a secretive plan to obtain a full set to take home with us but apparently this is not the done thing!
It was a day of pleasant surprises, what came next left both of us speechless as we open the door to room 33216.
This was an upgrade and then some! We walk past the desk and kitchenette into the palatial lounge with floor to ceiling glass windows and view of the entire Galaxy complex. The t.v screens welcome Mr.C and I’m stung with jealousy that my name doesn’t appear on any of the three screens in the suite. The bed…. arrh, we are here again, the constant reminder that our bed is so inferior, especially to this welcoming feature in front of us. The bathroom is next level; with a walk in shower that has seats (because we all know how tiring washing ourselves can be), the 3ft deep standalone bath and the second toilet (did I mention we have a guest toilet?). I’m exploring the dressing room when I hear it, squealing come laughter, a noise normally associated with a young child doing something wrong. I make my way to the noise coming from Mr.C, he has just discovered what the buttons to the side of the toilet do…. spray water into all the crevices!! We both laugh at this point, laughing at him using the buttons, at the size of the room, at the situation we find ourselves in.
We both don’t like the fact Mr.C travels so much for work but at moments like this I think we both silently acknowledge it may have some perks.
We spend the rest of the day enjoying the pools, lazy river as well as the steam and sauna rooms. The hotel provides just the right combination of relaxation and activities. We dress for dinner and head to the lounge for cocktail hour. I am beyond impressed when we get there, it turns out they serve a full dinner in this lounge and the free cocktails last for 4 whole hours. This is rare from my limited Marriott lounge experience but does mean by not buying dinner we have more to spend in the Casinos!
Since our last visit the whole place seems to have grown exponentially, really echoing the grandeur that is likened to Vegas. So we explore the Eiffel tower at the Parisian hotel. It is a third of the size of the real one but still spectacular, they even have locks of love here too. Unfortunately it is a foggy night so the views at the top are not as wonderful as they could be. Then make our way to the Wynn Palace to enjoy the fountain show and take a cable car up and over the water show. It costs us $10 as we aren’t guests of the hotel but this is fine, it’s a slow and romantic ride. Inside the Wynn Palace is a colourful ferris wheel, covered in flowers which also adorn the walls of the corridors. We take a time to place a few bets in here before making our way back to the galaxy complex via the Venetian.
There is also a fountain dance show inside the Galaxy main hotel. This is full of feathers, coloured lights and dramatic music. It has a peacock them to it and if I am honest it went on a bit long. We gamble and drink well into the night, me losing all I had allocated Mr.C doubling his money, typical.
The following day we enjoy breakfast in the ‘Urban Kitchen’. The selection was exhaustive and I was more than happy with my freshly made waffles and bacon. One thing to be wise of, even though breakfast was included they still charged us extra for the tax. Sneaky but it was worth it. After more enjoyment in the various pools, we both decide we should see a show. The only one that seems to be on today though is, ‘Viva la Broadway’, a variety show full of Britain’s got talent contestants. The tickets are great value at $25 and include a drink and $15 dollar voucher to use at the restaurants nearby. We dine at Tim Ho Wan’s, another Michelin starred dim sum restaurant, with the best pork buns ever! The show is good, some acts better than others. I really wasn’t keen on the mime artist but thought the dance troop were great. The funniest parts were the audience. They came and went as they pleased, taking selfies during the show and on the finale, the lead singer is amongst the crowd doing her best Celine Dion and then 10 people get up, push past her and leave. Mr.C and I could not help but laugh, it was peculiar however, a good way to spend a few hours.
We head back for cocktail hour and make reservations through the concierge for a late table at China Rouge and late night bar that is quite famous here. We arrive at 9.30 and the staff instantly exude friendliness to us. We are shown to a centre table; at this point it is still rather quiet. Summer our host comes over greets Mr.C by name and asks if he would like to go with her and the band doesn’t start yet. Assuming she is leading us to a busy bar we bring our drinks, turns out we are getting a tour of China Rouge. The art is explained to us and the secret rooms pointed out. We are both slightly perplexed as to why we are getting this tour by play along when she states prices in excess of 50K for room hire. Catching each other’s eye and trying not to laugh at this absurd scenario we find ourselves in. Did I mention all the art was of the naked female form??
The duet start at we are several G&T’s deep, they are good and we are thoroughly enjoying our night. Stanley (the lead male vocal), asks us where we are from, what we do etc. and notes that we know most of the song words. I don’t know why but I reply with, “He’s a singer”, and point at Mr.C. This then leads to us singing TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’ together and Mr.C doing two more solo songs. Please note he is not a singer! They take a break and I go for a cigarette, bumping into Stanley outside. When I return Mr.C is with a large group of Filipino’s cheering with them. He returns to the table with a large bowl like glass of Hennessy, he doesn’t even like Hennessy. Our memory from here begins to wane. I know we are the last people to leave the bar, and then it goes blank.
We wake fragile and apprehensive the following morning, neither of us speaks for a good 10 minutes. I enjoy a bath in the huge tub, after which we head down for a last ride on the lazy river. Our memories are hazy at best from last night. What we do know is it was a cracking time, our pictures fill the gaps slightly and we really feel like we have lived our very own hangover movie in Macau.
Trying to make the most of our last few hours we manage to get tickets for the ‘The House of Dancing Water’ show. It wasn’t on yesterday so we are pleased to be able to squeeze it in. Quite simply if you are in Macau and this show is on go and see it. It is more expensive that the others but it is superb. The way the stage moves, the transitions from solid stage to deep diving waters all in the same scene is incredible. The performers were incredibly brave and we loved it. You don’t need to spend extra on better seats, we had the cheapest range and they allowed us to see everything, I highly recommend.
It is a mad dash now to get a taxi and we didn’t pre-empt the traffic. Mr.C is getting agitated and I think my lack of worry is only making it worse. We do make it to the ferry port in time, even managing to get our bags checked directly to London from here, which is a little scary but also great for us. The ferry takes you directly to the airport and you bypass security and queues which saves so much time.
We loved this trip to Macau, we lost a lot of money on the tables but we made memories that will last forever and some memories that we don’t even remember. The hotel has set the bar as the best we have ever stayed at and the shows and bars out did themselves. I think if you are in Hong Kong or southern China then Macau should definitely be on your to visit list!